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Rev. Raymond T. Gawronski, SJ

Sister M. Angelina Dutra, SHF

Sister Ramona Bascom, OP

Sister M. Jacinta Fiebig, SHF

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Sisterhood puts its collective heart into dresses, shorts

placeholder May 9, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 9   •   Oakland, CA

Rev. Raymond T. Gawronski, SJ

Rev. Raymond T. Gawronski, SJ, who studied in Berkeley, taught seminarians of the Oakland diocese and who preached at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, died April 14 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos. He was 65 and had been a Jesuit for 38 years.

Father Gawronski was born and raised in New York and New Jersey, and was graduated as class valedictorian from Holy Cross College in 1971. He spent a number of years exploring and gaining new insights from his travels across the country working in different occupations, such as accounting on Wall Street, farming in Virginia and driving a taxi in Honolulu.

He graduated with a master's degree in world religions from Syracuse University before joining the Maryland province of the Society of Jesus in 1977. After two years of novitiate at Wernersville, Pennsylvania, he worked for two years with street people and the poor in Washington, D.C. Then followed: a master's degree in philosophy at St. Michael's Institute in Spokane, a master's in divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, ordination to the priesthood in 1986, and theology degrees from the Oriental Institute and the Gregorian Institute, both in Rome.

An educator, author and a student of various cultures, Father Gawronski taught or served as spiritual director at Marquette University, St. John Vianney Seminary in Colorado and at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. He wrote several books and was also a regular on the Eternal Word Television Network.

He is survived by his brother-in-law, Paul Sander; niece, Katie Sander; nephew, Peter Sander and his cousin, Donald Ferri.

The funeral Mass was held at the Shrine of St. Anne Parish and he was buried at the Jesuit Plot at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Sister M. Angelina Dutra, SHF

Sister M. Angelina Dutra, SHF, died peacefully at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont on March 30. She was born on Jan. 31, 1927, in Tracy and entered the Sisters of the Holy Family from St. Bernard's Parish in Tracy on July 2, 1949, at the age of 22.

Sister Angelina served in parishes and day homes in California until 1954, when she went to Hawaii. She remained there serving in various parishes and missions for 22 years, before moving to the opposite extreme in Alaska. She served the parish and missions of Sitka until 1983, and then took time out of her active ministry to earn her credentials in a clinical pastoral education program.

Returning to Alaska in 1985, Sister Angelina spent the next 20 years doing pastoral and spiritual care in various aspects of the Providence Health System in Anchorage. She returned to the Bay Area in 2006, living for one year in Oakland before coming to the Motherhouse in 2007. She remained here doing volunteer and community ministry until recently when her health required her to curtail her activity.

Sister Angelina's life has been dedicated to people on the fringes, the marginalized and less-cared-for. Tracing her roots to the Azores Islands in Portugal, she spent most of her active ministry in the mission communities of the Hawaiian Islands and in Alaska. She worked with Native Americans, immigrants, the sick and the elderly to show them the care of a loving community.

The Funeral Mass was celebrated on April 7 in the Holy Family Motherhouse in Fremont. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma.

Sister Ramona Bascom, OP

Sister Ramona Bascom, a Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose for 60 years, died on April 6. She was 80.

A native of Southern California, she grew up on Catalina Island, where she attended the island's elementary school; she graduated from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada. After joining the Dominican Sisters in 1954, she graduated with her bachelor's degree in English from Queen of the Holy Rosary College, a master's degree in English from Holy Names University, and a counseling degree and certified counseling credential from Loyola Marymont University.

Sister Bascom ministered in education for 48 years as teacher, principal and counselor in Catholic elementary and secondary schools in Southern California.

In the last eight years she was involved with the Catholic community at Stanford University, a member of the board of directors for Moreau Catholic High School, a coordinator for the Interfaith Sisters of Peace and a supporter of the St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionaries for China. She served as the "public person" on a medical review board for Stanford University Hospital and was on the board for the Dominican Sisters' Center for Education and Spirituality.

A person who cared genuinely for others, she always had time and insights to share, according to the obituary sent by her congregation. She seemed to know what a person needed: compassion, encouragement, wisdom and yes "tough love."

Sister Bascom is survived by her sisters Stephanie Grigsby, Catherine Richardson, Mary Ann Levesque and her brother, Tim Bascom.

Funeral services were held at the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose on April 13.

Sister M. Jacinta Fiebig, SHF

Sister M. Jacinta Fiebig, SHF, who joined the Sisters of the Holy Family in 1949, died March 24 at AlmaVia of San Francisco.

Born Elizabeth Ann Fiebig in Alamagordo, New Mexico, Sister Jacinta served in various parishes and day homes in California, Nevada and Utah until she agreed to spend one summer in service in home visitation in Rapid City, South Dakota. That summer led to a stay from 1980-1988 serving in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.

Sister Jacinta returned to Oakland to begin a six-month orientation in the AIDS Resource Center. On her second day, she found herself the day center director and a member of the staff. She later wrote a book sharing some of her experiences at the center and detailing how she had grown during her time there.

Since leaving the AIDS Resource Center, Sister has been involved in volunteer ministries, and until recently lived at the Motherhouse in Fremont. About three months ago, she was transferred to AlmaVia of San Francisco, where she had been visited regularly by Sisters, friends and family.

The Funeral Mass was held April 1 in the Holy Family Motherhouse in Fremont. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma at a later date.

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